Christmas is a special day for so many people across the globe. It is amazing how on the very same occasion in different corners of the globe the day is marked with festivities. Interestingly while the spirit remains the same the celebrations may be quite varied. Not just that; while somewhere it is freezing cold, elsewhere there’s the sweltering sun but there is nothing that can ever dampen the Christmas fervor no matter where you are.
In England the cold does nothing to dampen the spirits when the entire nation celebrates Christmas. Families gather around the fireplaces to unwrap presents and indulge in cakes and goodies. Children in particular have a blast especially sending their wish list to Santa by dropping it in the fire in the hope that it reaches him right through the chimney.
Christmas celebrations in France begin much early on in December. A visit to the church is common which is followed by a lavish spread of the most sumptuous dishes that also include the traditional buche de Noel, a cake filled with rich cream and resembling a Yule log.
In Germany again despite the terrible cold Christmas celebrations begin much in advance. Four Sundays prior to Christmas the Advent wreath is made with pine, fir and four colored candles. Each Sunday a single candle is lit and people sing carols and eat yummy cookies. On the day itself, there’s lots of fine food to enjoy especially sweetbread, cakes and spicy cookies called lebkuchen.
Australia celebrates a summer Christmas but there is no dearth of excitement in spite of the rising temperatures. The celebrations begin much in advance and the excitement keeps building up with every passing day. Carols by Candlelight have a special significance here with people gathering outdoors to light candles and sing Christmas carol.
In Sweden Christmas festivities begin on December 13 with St. Lucia’s Day, celebrating the patron saint of light. In most families the eldest daughter wakes up before dawn and dresses as the ‘Queen of Light’. Complete with a white long dress and a crown of leaves and singing ‘Santa Lucia’, she goes to every bedroom in the house and serves coffee and goodies to all the family members.
In spite of little variations in the celebration some things are universal like Santa, Christmas tree, carols, Church visits, cakes, and of course presents.